§ 2.41 p.m.
§ The Question was as follows:
§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether ECGD support is now available to British exporters to Turkey.
§ Lord LYELL
My Lords, no, the normal export credits guarantee department support for exports to Turkey has been in suspense since October 1977 because of the continuing inability of Turkey to make foreign exchange payments for its commercial debts.
My Lords, I thank the noble Lord for that reply. Is it not a fact that, while Turkey is a member of NATO, and therefore should be supported, also Her Majesty's Government are now making financial advances to Turkey, and would it not therefore be possible for more easy terms to be arranged for British exporters to Turkey?
§ Lord LYELL
My Lords, so far as Turkey's membership of NATO is concerned, I think that that is not necessarily within the brief of the Question that I have to answer. As to financial advances being made to Turkey, these will come in many forms. The noble Lord believes that we might show some concessions to Turkey. I had hoped to come to the horror section a little later in the afternoon, but noble Lords, and indeed the noble Lord, Lord Spens, might be interested to know that the claims on the export credits guarantee department in 1978, in relation to 1978 payments, amounted to over £50 million, which is in abeyance, and Turkey has been unable to pay it yet. That is 80 per cent. of the total outlay by British exporters; and I am sure the noble Lord will agree that exports are worth while only when they can be paid for.